On June 14, 2021, Governor Scott removed all State COVID-19 restrictions and the State of Emergency expired on June 15, 2021. For more information, current considerations, and operational recommendations, please visit Vermont.gov/Vermont-Forward.

Tourism and Economic Recovery Marketing Grants

About the Program

The Tourism and Economic Recovery Marketing Grants are the implementation of a $600,000 appropriation by the Vermont Legislature to provide grants to organizations to support their efforts and activities related to regional tourism marketing to aid recovery from COVID-19. These grants are intended to enable local, regional, or statewide organizations to implement campaigns and initiatives that increase consumer spending, support local businesses, and advance community recovery efforts to support businesses in Vermont that have suffered economic harm due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Program Goals

Grant funds are intended to increase the ability of regional organizations to work with partners to attract more visitors and visitor spending to their region of Vermont. Projects must be distributed equitably to reach a broad audience, including underrepresented communities and new and diverse communities of visitors. Approved activities are encouraged to have long-term transformational impacts and priority will be given to projects that create assets or collateral that live on beyond the life of the project.  

Key Dates

  1. Application Availability: September 16, 2021
  2. Informational Webinar: October 7, 2021 at 1pm
  3. Application Deadline: November 3, 2021 at 11:30pm
  4. Award Notifications: December 2021
  5. Estimated Project Start: January 2022
  6. Project Duration: All projects must be completed by March 1, 2023

Funding Availability

  • Minimum grant request: $10,000
  • Maximum grant request: $30,000

Applicants are not required to provide any matching funds in the grant request.

90% of grant funds will be disbursed upon approval and fully executed grant agreement. The remaining 10% of grant total will be reimbursed at the close of the project and upon receipt of all invoices and associated tracking documentation. 

Eligibility and Evaluation Criteria

Eligible Applicants

Eligible applicants include chambers of commerce, regional development corporations, young professionals networks, downtown organizations, municipal economic development/community development departments and committees, business organizations, or other similar groups.

Eligible Projects

Projects must benefit more than one business, organization, or individual to be eligible for funding. 

Eligible marketing campaigns must:

  • Increase consumer spending from visitors, support local businesses, and advance community recovery efforts to support businesses in Vermont that have suffered economic harm due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.
  • Establish regional partnerships to increase visitation and collectively attract new visitors to your region. 
  • Display a direct connection to the impacts of COVID-19 public health emergency on businesses in the region.
  • Expand existing or create new marketing efforts to reach a broad audience, including historically underrepresented communities and new and diverse visitors. 
  • Be used to support a distinct marketing campaign which includes an implementation component that results in the achievement of the following required outcomes: 
  • Number of participating businesses
  • Number of people outside of your region who will be reached by this campaign 
  • Estimated consumer spending generated by this campaign 

Eligible marketing campaigns are encouraged to: 

  • Be long-term investments with the potential to be transformative to the region. 
  • Exemplify the diversity of the region.
  • Leverage additional financial investments.
  • Create assets and/or collateral that will be used beyond this grant project and can be shared with the State in an effort to promote regional activities.

The following are eligible uses of grant monies:

  • Grant funding may be used in the development of materials designed to support tourism-related projects through advertising, promotion, publicity, new or expanded seasonal/annual events such as regional festivals or a themed event series, online resources, or collateral specifically designed to provide regional information to visitors. 
  • Collateral may include photography, videography, digital, print or other assets generated in support of the proposed marketing campaign. 
  • Administrative expenses up to 10% of total grant award are eligible for funding.

The following are ineligible for this grant funding: 

  • General economic development and workforce development projects.
  • Projects that do not have a clear tie to the impacts of the COVID-19 public health emergency. 
  • Existing programmatic support without expansion or connection to impacts of the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Evaluation Criteria

Priority consideration will be given to:

  • Proposals that demonstrate regional partnerships and collaboration further strengthening the region as a destination for visitors.
  • Projects that result in assets and/or collateral that lives on beyond the life of the project. 
  • Projects that exemplify the diversity of the region. 
  • Projects that have a regional impact and support state designated communities. 
  • Projects that bring new visitors to the community from out of state visitation or out of region Vermont residents. 

Awards shall be evaluated on the following:

  • Projects that are inclusive of priority considerations as defined above. 
  • Projects that are transformative to the region. 
  • Projects that make creative use of business and regional partnerships.
  • Projects that have a demonstrable component of long-term sustainability such as asset creation or ability for replication in other communities. 
  • Projects that leverage other sources of capital.
  • Geographic distribution of projects. 
  • Projects that maximize the use of local suppliers and/or labor.

Outcomes and Reporting Requirements

Proposed projects must:

  • Demonstrate a minimum of three measurable results and provide baseline metrics, including: 
    1. Number of participating businesses
    2. Number of people outside of your region reached by this project 
    3. Return on investment or estimated consumer spending generated by this project. 
  • Provide a detailed description of how you will track the required outcomes for this project.

Upon completion of grant a report must be submitted which summarizes the outcomes of the project including measurable results, tasks completed, deliverables, documentation of expenses, and the amount of funds leveraged from other participating entities.

Grantees must be willing to share project details, including successes and challenges, that may be shared with the Legislature and the media, illustrating how the grant has impacted Vermont’s tourism economy.

Timeline and Application Process

Deadline for applications is November 3, 2021. If grant monies are not fully expended, the application period may be reopened.

Prior to receiving funding, successful applicants must sign a grant agreement with the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) indicating their intent to complete the proposed project and authorizing ACCD to monitor progress. The grant agreement will include provisions (terms and conditions) set by the State of Vermont as well as any program-specific requirements. Review Attachment C - Standard State Provisions for Contracts and Grants (revised 12/15/2017) for the most recent State of Vermont grant provisions. 

Prior to commencement of work and release of any payments, grantees must submit: 

  • A current IRS Form W-9 (Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification), signed within the past six months. 
  • A certificate of insurance consistent with the requirements set forth in Attachment C of the grant agreement.

Before You Begin

Please review the following information prior to submission of your application: 

The following documents are required for submission of application: 

  • Work Plan and Budget
  • Marketing Plan
  • A minimum of one, maximum of four, Letters of Commitment from partner organizations.

How to Apply

  1. Download and review the Financial Cover Sheet and Project Profile Previews. These downloads have been provided as a preview of the questions only. Applications must be submitted online and will not be accepted via email. 
  2. Review the Frequently Asked Questions (coming soon). 
  3. Attend or view the Information Session Webinar scheduled for October 7th, 2021 at 1pm
  4. Complete and Submit the Project Profile. Application must be completed in one session. We recommend drafting all responses in a separate document and loading them into the application once you are complete. 
  5. Complete and Submit the Financial Cover Sheet. Application must be completed in one session. We recommend drafting all responses in a separate document and loading them into the application once you are complete. 

This application automatically closes on November 3rd, 2021 at 11:30pm. Late applications will not be accepted. 

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